2000-06-10 / Sports

Graybeard Hoops

Thursday Night Fever With Tommy Boy

By I.B. Woofin

We were always skeptical about those stories of Tommy Boy Carroll owning the dance floor at Brooklyn’s Rock Palace and 2001 Space Odyssey back in ’78. Rumor had it that it was Tommy Boy who eventually dethroned Tony Manero as reigning dance queen of Brooklyn. He’d often do his best to perpetuate these rumors because whenever he got the chance he’d take a photo from his wallet and show you the wavy blonde mane (when it was a lot more main) and the rhinestone polyester suit to prove it. Still, we had our doubts.

That is, until last Thursday at the SFDS gym when Tommy Boy (the artist formerly known as Chris Farley) hit a game tying shot as time ran out. He made believers out of us all as he pulled a Barishnikov from baseline to halfcourt, leaping and pirouetting in delirious joy. In fact, some witnesses said he was shouting "Oh, delirious joy" as he bounced out of split into a spread eagle leap four feet off the gym floor. It was a remarkable routine, which certainly echoed the great Barishnikov but was unique in its own Barney Rubble kind of way.

The only thing missing was a disco ball ---and maybe a tu-tu.

It was a bummer when his more relaxed teammates had to tell him that his shot didn’t win the game, it just meant overtime. But just because they were calm and sensible doesn’t mean this column has to be. Let’s stand up and cheer for the Dance Machine (all 20,000 cubic inches). The man was smart enough to go to the hoop when McCool and the Gang sent all five defenders after decoy, Chris Boyle. The man was cool enough to put the ball in the hole---and give his team a chance to win in overtime---which they did. Hey, hey Tommy Boy!

McCool and the Gang snatched this defeat from the jaws of victory. They had this sucker in the bag. Playing shorthanded for the second straight game---this time without Brian Boyle and Harry Werner--- didn’t seem to matter to this hearty bunch. Kevin Lunny, so far the runaway candidate for Most Improved Player, nailed several threes to give the Gang a comfortable lead with just a couple of minutes to play. But if McCool and the Gang have proved one thing besides their toughness is the uncanny ability to apple-up at the worst time. Flashback to week one: Captain Crunch bricks what would have been a game winning lay-up off the glass with four seconds to go. Jump to week three. Dan Conlin on the foul line, his team up two. He makes two the game is over. He makes one and the Maroons have to make a three to tie. What does he do? He clanks both setting up the Tommy Boy heroics.

But there was yet another bad apple at the bottom of this barrel. In overtime with Maroon up two, Conlin gets the ball with seven seconds to go in a last ditch effort to redeem himself. What does he do? He doesn’t get a shot off. He just dribbled and dribbled and drooled and just like that all the Marooners were dancing. People who enjoy watching others suffer got an overdose as Conlin imploded on the sidelines after the game. Made us think back to week one. After that game, the one in which McCool missed that lay-up, Conlin exclaimed, "He was wide open!" Hey Dan you looked pretty wide open on the foul line, too.

In other action, the Oh-So Blue Crew registered their first win with great play by Ed Cashen, Bill Armstrong, Jim Dunn, GI Joe, and Peter Brady. After two crushing defeats to start the season this squad turned things around in a big way by knocking off previously defeated Gang Green. They did it the old fashioned way: with hustle and muscle. (Memo to Cannon and Meade: you want good press---do it two weeks in a row).

It’s too early to tell if Leaper Howley is at the top of his game this year but there’s no denying his importance to the White Castles who looked like chopped onions in search of the square burger against the Red Rabbits----though at the postgame party the team did quite well without Leaper. But we digress. The game was a blowout---and you know it was going to be a blowout the second Long Haired George swatted a shot onto the balcony just seconds into the game.

With Leaper AWOL the game proved nothing--- other than that the Red Runners can win even with Kevin Kelleher in the line-up. Without him they won easily. With him they lost easily. It was ugly and now seems premature because after the Red Rabbits lost game two Bill Seiz and Joel Mirrer secretly met with league officials to discuss extending the trading deadline. Seems they wanted to dump Kelleher for any breathing body.

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